24 Delightful Inauguration Firsts

Think you know inauguration? Guess which President was the first to invite his mom.

1. George Washington was the first and last President to be inaugurated in New York City.

Tompkins Harrison Matteson/Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

2. Jefferson walked to and from his inauguration.

HBO: John Adams 2008

3. In 1809, James Madison invited the United States Marine Band to play for the inaugural ball, and they have played ever since.

4. John Q. Adams was the first president sworn in wearing long trousers instead of knickers.

Albert Sands Southworth / Via

5. President Harrison had a long winded inaugural address (10,000 words).

6. John Tyler was the first vice president to be inaugurated due to the death of his long winded boss.

7. James Polk had the first known newspaper illustration of a presidential inauguration in 1845.

Compliments of the Illustrated London News

8. Abe Lincoln had the first African-Americans participate in his inaugural parade.

Library of Congress

9. James Garfield had his mom attend his Inauguration, a first for a president.

10. William McKinley had the first inaugural recorded by movie camera, in 1897.

11. Teddy Roosevelt had telephones installed on the Capitol grounds for his inaugural, so reporters could bask in its glory.

12. Taft rode with his wife in the procession from the Capitol to the White House, a presidential first.

13. Wilson’s was the first time that women participated in the inaugural parade.

Credit: National Archives

14. Harding was the first president to ride to and from his Inauguration in an automobile.

15. Coolidge had the first inaugural ceremony broadcast nationally by radio.

First Inaugural ceremony broadcast nationally by radio

16. Hoover had the first Inaugural ceremony recorded by talking newsreel.

17. FDR was sworn in on a Bible written in a foreign language: Dutch.

FDR Presidential Library Archives

18. FDR’s inaugural in 1945 had no parade because of gas rationing and a lumber shortage during World War II.

19. Eisenhower was the first President lassoed by a cowboy at his Inauguration. He was very mad about it.

Credit: National Archives

20. JFK’s inauguration was the first time a poet recited. That poet was Robert Frost.

The John F. Kennedy Library

21. Reagan’s first Inauguration was also the warmest on record with a noon temperature of 55.

The Ronald Reagan Library

22. Reagans second Inauguration was the coldest on record and took place in the Capitol Rotunda, due to freezing weather.

The Ronald Reagan Library

23. The first Inaugural ceremony broadcast live on the Internet was Clinton’s.

24. Obama’s first inauguration holds the record for being the largest attended event in the history of Washington, DC.

Credit: National Archives

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